Sunday, September 30, 2012

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Coach Won't Get Out of the Car

I guess I blame myself. I was trying to figure out a way to make Coach, our Southeastern guide dog puppy, love the car.  Ellen, another puppy raiser, gave me some ideas for making Coach love the car and I decided to try it with his favorite toy and his favorite treat because we can't feed him a meal every time we go out in the car!

So, I started loading up a kong with peanut butter.  But I didn't fill it with peanut butter.  I just smeared it around the inside so there was a really good 5 minutes a fun in the kong.  Unfortunately, on Friday, I had outsneakied myself because on Friday I needed to drive to the fieldhouse, then drive to Academy of the Holy Names, then drive back to Berkeley, then drive home, then drive back to Berkeley for tailgate then drive home.

Getting Coach in the car was no problem.  He ran into the car.  Getting Coach into the car at Berkeley for the Academy was no problem, as the kong still had major peanut butter smells.  Coming back was the problem.

We walked up to the car and Coach eyed the car warily.  I opened the door and pulled out the twice used kong and held it out to Coach.  "Car in!" I said cheerfully.

Coach sniffed the kong and then gave me a baleful look.  It was clear the jig was up.  He knew there was no peanut butter in the kong.  I pulled the kong back and looked inside.  Crap!  Why did I do that? I just confirmed it!

He was still staring at me.  I stuck a finger in the kong and way down at the end was some hardened peanut butter.  I scraped a nail against it and came up with a smear of peanut butter.

"See, it has peanut butter!" I held out my hand and the kong but Coach was holding out for fresh peanut butter.  I squashed the old peanut butter against the ouside of the kong and held it under his nose.  The tip of his tongue started to come out.

"Aha! You do want it!"  I had him now.  I moved back and tossed the kong into the car.  I stood and in my commanding voice said, "Car in."

Coach looked at me and at the kong.  Then he started forward and hopped in.

Later, at school, I had to go to the library's workroom where we kept a jar of peanut butter and refill the kong with fresh.  Who knew Coach was such a demanding fellow?

But the real kicker came on Saturday when I started carrying two kongs smeared with fresh peanut butter.  I had learned my lesson and wasn't going to get caught out with old, dried up peanut butter on a kong again.  I had one kong for the trip out and one for the trip back.  I might even start carrying emergency peanut butter in my bag.  Like emergency wipes.  (Do they have tiny jars?  I have to look into that!)

I think he is so happy with this new routine that he's decided that he doesn't want to leave the car.  What do you think? Mind you this is after Fred has asked him to leave the car and I have started to ask him to leave.  Remember, this is a dog who couldn't wait to jump out of the car as soon as possible!



  1. Just when you think you've got one problem "licked" another one crops up to take its place.

    1. I know! 8-) He's just so darned cute and earnest about it.

  2. Aww, Coach, you'll get it soon! Oh, and they do sell "to go" packages of peanut butter - never thought to use them, but it is a good idea!

    1. To go peanut butter. I need to find that! thanks!!!